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Livestream - Professionalism, Ethics & Malpractice

CLE Hours: 3 including 3 General, 2 Ethics, 1 Professionalism, 0 Trial Practice



Please Note

Speakers, session times and credit hours are subject to change.





Jeffrey M. Smith, Program Chair; Greenberg Traurig LLP, Atlanta, GA




In-person registration








Welcome and Program Overview


Jeffrey M. Smith




Spoilation, Misrepresentation and Omission Issues (Professionalism)


Michael J. King, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Atlanta, GA




Legal and Illegal Investigation Techniques Used by Lawyers (Professionalism)


Jeffrey M. Smith
Michael J. King








Differences Between the Georgia and ABA Rules of Professional Conduct (Ethics)


Paula J. Frederick, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Jeffrey M. Smith




Update on Legal Malpractice Cases (Ethics)


Jeffrey M. Smith








Mr. Jeffrey M. Smith's Profile

Mr. Jeffrey M. Smith Related seminars and products

Greenberg Traurig LLP


Securities law, including ethics and malpractice litigation involving attorneys and accountants; entertainment industry joint ventures and audits; and food and beverage industry joint ventures and audits. 


Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Minnesota, 1970.  University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1966-67.  Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, University of Minnesota, 1973. Member, 1971-72, and President 1972-73, Minnesota Law Review.



  1. The Best Lawyers in America: Plaintiffs’ Legal Malpractice;
  2. The Best Lawyers in America: Defendants’ Legal Malpractice;
  3. The Best Lawyers in America: Corporate Law;
  4.   Who’s Who in American Law;
  5.  Who’s Who in America and;
  6.  Who’s Who in the World.




  1. Semester courses in Ethics and Legal Malpractice at Duke, Emory and Vanderbilt Law Schools.
  2. Chair, 1983 – 2022, Georgia ICLE Professionalism, Ethics and Malpractice Seminar.
  3. Southwestern University of Finance and Economics: Guest Lecturer, English Language Instruction, 2013 (Chengdue, China).   
  4. Central University of Finance and Economics:  Honorary Professor and Guest Lecturer, Securities Laws, and Legal Opinions, 2008-present (Beijing, China).
  5. Suzhou Institute:  Guest Lecturer, Securities Regulation, 2009 (Suzhou, China).
  6. China Supreme Court: Guest Lecturer, Evolution of the Federal Securities Laws in the United States and comparison to China’s Securities Laws, May 13, 2008 (Beijing, China).   




1.  1976: Author, Preventing Legal Malpractice (West Publishing), the first book on this subject.
2.  1981:  Editor and reviewer, Levinson, Accountant’s Legal Liability (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.).
3.  1999: Co-author, Fourth Edition of Preventing Legal Malpractice (Thomson/West).  4.  1985-2015:  Co-author, Legal Malpractice (Thomson/West), a five-volume, 7,000-page treatise.           
5.   2007-Present:  Co-author, Second, Third and Fourth Editions, Legal Opinions In Business   Transactions (American Bar Association), a three-volume, 2,000-page treatise. 
6.   2021: Co-editor, Harvard Professor Michael Witzel, The Veda in Kashmir (Harvard Press). 
7.   2023: (estimated):  Co-author with Harvard Professor Michael Witzel, Teaching English Strategically to Native Mandarin Speakers.


Mr. James Benjamin Finley's Profile

Mr. James Benjamin Finley Related seminars and products

The Finley Firm PC

Ben Finley is a native of Columbus, Georgia. In law school, Ben served as President of his class and was a member of the University of Georgia’s American Bar Association National Moot Court Team. Upon graduation from law school, he practiced in the areas of general civil litigation at Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers, LLP. Ben ultimately started his own firm and is licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Georgia and Alabama. Ben handles cases throughout the country in the areas of general civil litigation, particularly involving class actions and mass torts, commercial litigation, product liability, business torts, personal injury, and workers’ compensation. He has prosecuted and defended numerous multi-million dollar claims on behalf of individuals and corporations and has written several articles involving litigation and has served as a featured speaker at seminars throughout the Southeast in the area of civil litigation.
Ben also serves as a Special Assistant Attorney General (SAAG) on behalf of the State of Georgia handling litigated matters. As a SAAG, for the past 29 years, Ben has worked closely with the Law Department and has handled litigation matters on behalf of various state agencies including the Department of Community Health, Department of Transportation, and the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Ben is also a certified Mediator and Arbitrator, and given his vast amount of practice experience, is well-suited to mediate or arbitrate nearly every type of civil matter. In 2005, he was featured in Georgia Trend Magazine “Top 40 Under 40, Best and Brightest Georgians” edition and was recently named a “Super Lawyer” in Atlanta Magazine’s Super Lawyer 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 editions. Ben serves on the Auburn University School of Business Advisory Council and was appointed to serve in that capacity by the Dean of the School of Business. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia School of Law where he taught a class he created entitled, “Beginning, Building and Maintaining a Law Practice.” He is AV-rated as a trial attorney.

Mr. Michael James King's Profile

Mr. Michael James King Related seminars and products

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Michael J. King

Michael J. King responds to the legal needs of business clients confronted with actual and potential litigation controversies. In addition to trial work, Mike provides risk management counseling to clients. In a varied business practice, he has represented clients with respect to internal disputes involving corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships, contract interpretation, real estate, trademark infringement and unfair competition, creditors' rights, landlord rights, libel defense, and business torts (including RICO).

Mike also represents clients in disputes in fiduciary matters involving officers, directors, trustees and executors. He has appeared in cases in 26 states, and also has broad experience in appellate work, arbitration and mediation.


Commercial • litigation • Media
• Landlord and tenant


Litigation | Appeals & Legal Issues | Real Estate Operations | Trial Practice | Trade Secrets | Media & Entertainment Litigation


Representative Matters

  • Obtained a defense verdict directed by Court of Appeals in $28 million claim for tortious interference with contractual and business relations. 
  • Obtained a motion to dismiss $26 million claim for fraud and breach of contract regarding a television station acquisition. 
  • Obtained a summary judgment in $10 million action to imply post-closing duties into acquisition contract.
  • Appeared in trial and appellate courts on constitutional questions involving First Amendment reporters' rights, due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and Commerce Clause issues under Article I.
  • Argued to the Eleventh Circuit sitting en banc that bankruptcy code requirements for filing involuntary cases are not subject matter jurisdictional.
  • Prosecuted and obtained injunctive and permanent relief in cases involving infringement of gasoline retailer’s trademarks. 
  • Obtained summary judgment in fraud case regarding multimillion-dollar management hospitality property, later affirmed by U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained a summary judgment in defense of lender in wrongful foreclosure action.
  • Obtained significant recovery on behalf of executor of estate against decedent's former business partner regarding use of partnership assets. 
  • Defended $9 million RICO claim involving a franchise internet service provider.
  • Appeared in numerous employee non-compete and restrictive covenant cases.
  • Represented plaintiffs and defendants in numerous majority/minority shareholder, limited liability company and partnership disputes. 
  • Represented businesses in tortious interference with contractual relations cases.
  • Obtained injunctive relief for restaurant chain to protect common law trade name.
  • Represented numerous businesses to protect corporate trade secrets and confidential information.
  • Represented buyers and sellers in transactional litigation, including post-closing adjustments, breach of warranties, recovery of earnest money and enforcement of confidentiality agreements. 
  • Defended television station affiliates in actions respecting network affiliation agreements. 
  • Represented corporations, shareholders and officers in fiduciary duty cases. 
  • Briefed appellate issues concerning application of key provision of Georgia Tort Reform Act sustaining dismissal of medical malpractice action. 
  • Briefed and presented oral argument in medical malpractice case before Court of Appeals upholding jury verdict in favor of doctor.
  • In Re: Trusted Net Media Holdings, LLC v. The Morrison Agency, Inc., 550 F.3d 1035 (11th Cir. 2008)(en banc).
  • Atlantech Inc. v. American Panel Corp., 540 F. Supp. 2d 274 (D. Mass. 2008).
  • Carlisle v. Abend, 288 Ga. App. 150, 653 S.E.2d 388 (2007).
  • Spacht v. Troyer, 288 Ga. App. 898, 655 S.E.2d 656 (2007). 
  • The Boeing Company v. Blane International Group, Inc., 276 Ga. App. 672, 624 S.E.2d 227 (2005). 
  • AGA, LLC v. Rubin, 243 Ga. App. 772, 533 • S.E.2d 804 (2000).
  •  Aaron Rents, Inc. v. Fourteenth Street Venture, L.P., 243 Ga. App. 746, 533 S.E.2d 759 (2000). 
  • Birdsong v. Enforcer Products, Inc., 235 Ga. App. 132, 508 S.E.2d 769 (1998).
  •  Grand Partners Joint Venture I v. Realtax Resource, Inc., 225 Ga. App. 409, 483 S.E.2d 922 (1997).
  • Warren v. The Health and Welfare Fund of the Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas, 752 F. Supp. 452 (M.D. Ga. 1990).
  • Badische Corporation v. Caylor, 825 F.2d 399 (11th Cir. 1987).
  • Badische Corporation v. Caylor, 257 Ga. 131, 356 S.E.2d 198 (1987).
  • Brown v. Morris Real Estate Consultants, Inc., 256 Ga. 269, 347 S.E.2d 563 (1986).
  • Edelschick v. Blanchard, 177 Ga. App. 410, 339 S.E.2d 628 (1985).

Recognition & Leadership

Awards & Accolades

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice; Commercial Litigation, 2015-2023 
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Georgia Super Lawyers, 2007-2023
  • Team Member, The American Lawyer’s “Regional Litigation Department of the Year - Georgia,” 2018 and 2021
  •  Listed, Georgia Trend magazine, "Legal Elite," 2008-2013
  •  Team Member, a Law360 "Appellate Practice Group of the Year," 2010

• Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV , AV Preeminent , Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Member, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
  • Sacristan and Building Committee, St. Brigid Catholic Church
  • Commissioner, City of Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Commission, 2005-2010



  • J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law, 1984
  • Member Order of Barristers 
  • Member, Holderness Moot Court Bench
  • B.A., History, University of Virginia, 1981
  • Awarded special honors




  • Georgia


News,  Insights & Events

February 10, 2023 PRESS RELEASE

24 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Recognized in Georgia Super Lawyers 2023 Edition

February 17, 2022 PRESS RELEASE

21 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Recognized in 2022 Edition of Georgia
Super Lawyers

February 22, 2021 NEWS

28 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Recognized in 2021 Edition of Georgia
Super Lawyers

August 24, 2020 PRESS RELEASE

26 Greenberg Traurig Atlanta Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America


Important Information

Please be advised that your credit will not be reported to the State Bar of Georgia CLE Regulation Department until after you have completed the steps necessary to earn credit for that program. 

Self reporting is required for all other jurisdictions.

The information presented is solely for educational purposes. The opinions expressed by the faculty in their materials and presentations are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the State Bar of Georgia, its officers, directors and/or employees. The faculty is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and these presentations and publications are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. All publications and presentations were created to serve the continuing legal education needs of practicing attorneys.

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